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5 Best Beaches in Cuba

Cayo Largo Cuba
Cayo Largo; credit: Wikimedia Commons
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, so it comes as no surprise that it’s made up of majestic coastlines stretching to 5,746 kilometres and dividing up into 289 natural beaches.

There are three types of beaches in Cuba: Those that are effectively reserved for Western tourists; those beaches where Cubans and tourists can go; and some pretty dodgy beaches. Here, we will be exploring the top five beaches from these categories that make Cuba one of the Caribbean’s top tourist destinations.

Cayo Santa Maria's beach


Cayo Santa is a small island located on the north coast and features seven miles of virtually untouched beaches. In fact, the area has been officially designated a UNESCO reserve, making it a stunning location for a holiday.

Stretching more than 13 kilometres, the beach is one of the most inviting and amazingly calm in Cuba. The beach is also used for water sports such as swimming and wind surfing.

Playa Ancón


Playa Ancón is a particularly popular Cuban beach because of its proximity to the cobbled colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast.

The Playa features almost three miles of soft, white sand under the great sunny expanse of the Cuban shoreline. With its warm, clear and pristine waters, the Playa also offers a wonderful opportunity for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Varadero Beach


Many would agree that Varadero beach is the most popular in Cuban, featuring its own holiday resort and stretching over 20 kilometres along the coast. With its almost thirty diving spots, largely unspoilt environment and a variety of water sports, the Varadero is hard to beat.

The beach is particularly suitable for snorkelling as it's shallow for several metres out, making it a safe choice for children, and the waters are so clear that it is possible to see the seabed for long stretches.

For divers, the area also boasts a wide variety of marine life, including fish, lobsters, crabs, shrimps and more than 40 species of coral. For those who prefer to relax along the shore, laying back and watching the dolphins (yes, they are visible from shore) is also a real possibility.

Just enjoying the sand and sunshine will also delight in the dolphins - which are often visible from the shore.

Playa Pilar, Cayo Guillermo


Located in the Jardines del Rey (Gardens of the King) archipelago, Playa Pilar is another of Cuba’s northern beaches.

Imagine an idyllic beach with perfect white sand, swaying palms and clear waters, then you would have imagined Playa Pilar. One point to note is that the Playa is unique and modern.

Of note, there aren’t many references to Cuban lifestyle and culture here. However, one can find restaurants that serve traditional Cuban delicacies such as mojitos and piña coladas.

Playa Paraíso, Cayo Largo del Sur


Playa Paraíso is, as its name suggests, a true taste of paradise. Located on Cuba’s south coast, the Playa offers a unique southern experience that is cultural and more down to earth.

The beach features miles of sugar-white sand stretching along the shore as well as calm waters. Aside from the resorts, Playa Paraíso also offers a wide variety of bars and small restaurants.

As beach holidays in Cuba become more popular, we have picked out what we consider to be the best beaches on the island. Not only are they fairly developed, but they are unspoilt by tourism and overcrowding. This creates an enviable balance that every tourist will appreciate.

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